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Sun 22 Mar 2009 11:14 AM

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Expats still plan to invest in property - survey

72% of expatriates living in Bahrain plan to invest their spare cash in real estate.

Expatriates living in Bahrain and the UAE have said they still plan to invest in the property market, despite a real estate crisis engulfing the region, according to a new survey.

Findings from the study by offshore insurance firm Zurich International Life show that three quarters (72 percent) of  expatriates living in Bahrain would spend any extra income they had on property.

Meanwhile, the figure for the UAE was still high at 48 percent – up 20 percent from 2008 – even though the country has been hardest hit by the real estate downturn, with more than 50 percent of projects on hold.

The data indicated that the long-term future of the real estate sector in the Gulf was healthy, Zurich said.

"We appreciate that the UAE has taken by far the greatest economic hit in the region, but Bahrain is looking quite healthy," Carlos Sabugueiro, CEO of Zurich International Life, Middle East and Africa.

“Presently it is focused on developing its own infrastructure, notably the airport, sea port and causeway, which will filter benefits to the local economy and housing market. So it comes as no surprise that Bahrain expats are looking to spend their extra income on property," he added.

Other findings show that more than 65 percent of those questioned in Bahrain already have investments in property, compared with 27 percent in the UAE.

However, 45 percent of expatriates in Bahrain with a mortgage said they were worried about meeting future payments, against 17 percent of those living in the UAE.

Meanwhile, the survey highlighted some lingering concerns about the price of property, with over 50 percent of UAE and Bahraini expatriates agreeing that property was still too expensive to buy.

Skeptical Chappy 10 years ago

I'd love to invest in buying property here in Dubai but with your extortion et prices, rule changes, and add ons to the ever increasing rip off which is Dubai now, not a chance. Been here 4 years and watched as it just gets worse by the month, i loved it here, but recently with RERA, DEWA, RTA etc.... boosting prices and making life in general just harder to cope with it just isn't worth it, especially when the price of a 2 bed apartment is more than my 4 bedroom house in the UK.

ajoy 10 years ago

i HAVE EARLIER SAID ALSO THE SAME THING ONE MONTH AGO WHAT SURVEY HAS REVEALED NOW . Only two problem exists..first , govt's weak policy about the visa and other facility to expat and 2nd the liquidity problem. Liquidity also can be solved by govt only , so what govt is waiting for!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dilip 10 years ago

I work in Bahrain and also I have policy with Zurich Intl Life. However I have never come across any survey conducted by them. I would like to know how many people were surveyed and how the sampling was done. Until this is not known, the results and analysis quoted in this article are highly suspect (72% of expats wants to invest in Real estate???). I know personally that several high profile projects in Bahrain are being suspended and postponed. Some major Design, Project Management consultants have started to layoff their staff also.

jay 10 years ago

How about Zurich International conduct a survey based on our comments so far? The property sector has been mismanaged and everyone fears termination notices and forfeit of money from developers who are incapable of building... which expat in his right mind would buy property here?

Property Guru 10 years ago

Any one living away from home country would like to buy property as long as the monthly EMI payment is comparable to the rent paid. The problem is mortgage providers are in crisis. Further, in current scenario the job assurance is not there so continuity of stay and job and consequently the repayment of mortgage can't be guaranteed. The cost of living has been artificially inflated and government response to this fact is not very encouraging. For example, every one is suffering from Salik. Personally I appreciate it as we are getting more roads and we can see more infrastructure spend. But what is the necessity to apply Salik on Friday and Saturday or at least Friday? These are the days when a person goes out with family to spend quality time and his money. Or why can't this be reduced to AED 3 per trip to be responsive to the environment? Everyone would like to buy a property as long as the city provides economically justified environment for it. At present, hard work and will is required to put it in place.

Louie Tedesco 10 years ago

I'm an expat and I want to buy property. I'm an expat living in the UAE and I would spend any extra income I had on property. The article is therefore -legally- accurate. What the article doesn't tell the reader, is that I'd never buy property here- we expats do want to buy property, but elsewhere. What it also doesn't tell the reader is that I first need "extra income" to spend on property, which we expats would then buy elsewhere. "Extra income" is what's left over after I pay all of my bills, which includes Salik et al and my mortgage on a 3-flat apartment building I own -elsewhere- and rent out. Being a Slumlord, er... a Landlord of European origin, my rental income doesn't cover the mortgage and I'm legally forbidden to raise tenants rent by 5-25% every year- but my property can never be taken away by ANYONE and I can gift it or pass it on to whomever I want when I die. So yeah, give me the "extra income" to lead the flamboyant lifestyle, the promotional opportunities and the unlimited earnings which were promised before relocating here but were never delivered after arrival, then I'll buy (more) property - elsewhere.

kimbailey 10 years ago

Hello, guys I’m kimbailey But what is the necessity to apply Salk on Friday and Saturday or at least Friday? These are the days when a person goes out with family to spend quality time and his money on site. ------------------------- kimbailey real estate